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Muntinlupa Development Foundation @30

Kudos are in order for the Muntinlupa Development Foundation which observed its 30th anniversary the other week.

Flashback to 1986. During the snap elections, many residents of Muntinlupa residing inside the gated subdivisions joined the Namfrel, the town priests and the nuns to watch and protect the ballots.

Muntinlupa became one of the electoral battleground communities where armed goons hired by local partisans tried to scare off the volunteers. 15 minutes after the polls closed, the goons fired their armalites into the air.

Synchronized firing happened in at least a dozen key precints in Muntinlupa. The Namfrel volunteers, after recovering from the shock of what could have been their first baptism of fire, stood their ground.

Not successful in their scare tactics, the political partisans taunted the volunteers:

“Matapang lang kayo, dahil pagkatapos nito, uuwi na kayo sa iyong mga village. Pero kami ang maiiwan dito para harapin yung aming pang-araw-araw na problema.”

Later, back in the comfort and safety of their villages, the volunteers felt challenged. Those “goons” could be right. There must be a way the villagers can more permanently engage the community other than this one-off Namfrel event.

Weeks later, the volunteers decided to return to the poor communities across the PNR railroad tracks. The tracks literally and figuratively divided Muntinlupa between the poor and the well off.

The volunteers – among them Ted Javier, Ramon Sy, Joe Alejandro, Francis Ferrer, Fil Alfonso, Freddie Burgos, Mon Cuerva, Rolando Pineda, Lulu Teodoro, Rene Valencia, Jose Luis Yulo, Jake Peña – were mostly professionals and businessmen of note. They were joined by community representatives Moring Austria, Chester Lastica, Silver de Leon and Armando Santana. Together, they decided to organize themselves into the Muntinlupa Development Foundation or MDF. MDF’s first Executive Director was Maricel Genzola.

Working hand in hand with the local government, MDF organized itself for the purpose of uplifting economically-challenged communities through capacity-building, promoting self-reliance and economic empowerment.

Its initial capacity-building project involved officers and staff of the local government unit, representatives from the barangays, the business sector and, most importantly, the poor communities in Muntinlupa.

The various stakeholders met for two days at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) to attend an MDF-sponsored “visioning session”. The sessions were meant to ensure that all stakeholders would be on the same page while pursuing the development of Muntinlupa.

The sessions were presided by no less than the late Fil Alfonso, then President of Asian Institute of Management and, later, Meralco Chairman.

An out-of-town session for the mayor and the municipal councilors followed. The focus was on good governance.

During the sessions, MDF identified two most-felt needs among the poor communities: affordable housing and livelihood opportunities.

Fast-forward to 2016.

MDF remains very active in all the barangays in Muntinlupa City and prides itself with having assisted hundreds of families relocate to more decent homes which they can now call their own. Housing projects are located both in-city and in neighboring towns of Muntinlupa.

Thanks to MDF, many poor resident have been freed from the tentacles of the 5-6 operators. MDF is also active in promoting health and nutrition, sanitation, education and gender-equality consciousness.

In the early 90’s, Muntinlupa Development Foundation set a trend for fund-raising with its signature Big Bang sa Alabang. For several years, the fair ran for 45-days through the Christmas season in what is now the Filinvest Corporate City. Big Bang sa Alabang was so successful, it inspired similar projects like Payanig sa Pasig, Boom na Boom sa Pasay and I heard, even The Enchanted Kingdom.

Over the years, MDF has partnered with local and international institutions in pursuing its objectives. The list of MDF partners is quite long. Just to name a few: PBSP, American Women’s Club in the Phillippines, Operation Smile, Children’s Hour, The Asia Foundation, Rotary Club of Muntinlupa, Habitat for Humanity, LandCo, Ayala Alabang Village Association, ADB and the City of Muntinlupa.

The MDF is currently headed by Chairman Ted Javier and President Bong Belen. The other trustees and advisers are:

Melvin Montelibano, Bubut de los Santos, Cesar Manalaysay, Alfonso Santiago, Ferdinand Ferrer, Jun Sayson, Miguel Victorio, Freddie Burgos, Francis Ferrer, Jake Peña and Ramon Sy. MDF’s current Executive Director is Gay Marie Francisco.

Generous readers who wish to become MDF partners or volunteers may contact MDF through its website:

http://www.muntinlupafoundation.org.ph/about-us.php.

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Note: You may email us at totingbunye2000@gmail.com. You may also “like” us on facebook at “Speaking Out”.

inspired similar projects like Payanig sa Pasig, Boom na Boom sa Pasay and I heard, even The Enchanted Kingdom.

Over the years, MDF has partnered with local and international institutions in pursuing its objectives. The list of MDF partners is quite long. Just to name a few: PBSP, American Women’s Club in the Phillippines, Operation Smile, Children’s Hour, The Asia Foundation, Rotary Club of Muntinlupa, Habitat for Humanity, LandCo, Ayala Alabang Village Association, ADB and the City of Muntinlupa.

The MDF is currently headed by Chairman Ted Javier and President Bong Belen. The other trustees and advisers are:

Melvin Montelibano, Bubut de los Santos, Cesar Manalaysay, Alfonso Santiago, Ferdinand Ferrer, Jun Sayson, Miguel Victorio, Freddie Burgos, Francis Ferrer, Jake Peña and Ramon Sy. MDF’s current Executive Director is Gay Marie Francisco.

Generous readers who wish to become MDF partners or volunteers may contact MDF through its website:

http://www.muntinlupafoundation.org.ph/about-us.php.

* * *

Note: You may email us at totingbunye2000@gmail.com. You may also “like” us on facebook at “Speaking Out”.
(Atty. Ignacio R. Bunye)

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